FAQ on Mandatory CPD Policy
Q1: What is Mandatory CPD?
A1: To further promote membership in terms of quality, the Council has in line with ICSA International Council directives decided to build on the success of the ECPD Programme and prescribe mandatory CPD requirements for members. All members are required to fulfil the minimum CPD requirements in each CPD Year for annual membership renewal.
The Mandatory CPD programme serves the following purposes:
-To inform members of the latest developments in their industry sector
-To impress on members the need to be aware of the latest professional developments
-To provide reasonable assurance to regulators, employers and the society at large that members have the technical knowledge and professional skills required to perform the services they undertake to provide
Q2: When will Mandatory CPD start?
A2: The Institute will adopt a staged approach in its implementation of mandatory CPD requirements. Members qualified during the period from 1st January 2005 to 31st July 2011 will be subject to mandatory CPD requirements starting from 1st August 2011. In the second phase, Members qualified between 1st January 2000 and 31st December 2004 will be subject to mandatory CPD requirements from 1st August 2013. In the third phase, Members qualified between 1st January 1995 and 31st December 1999 will be subject to mandatory CPD requirements from 1st August 2015. And by 1st August 2017, all Members will be subject to mandatory CPD requirements. This is further illustrated in the following table:
Note 1: Newly elected Associates are required to comply with the CPD requirements starting from the CPD Year immediately following the year of election to associateship. For example, if a graduate is elected as an Associate in August 2011, he or she is required to accumulate 15 CPD or ECPD points starting from the 2012/13 Year (i.e. from 1st August 2012) and in each CPD Year thereafter.
Note 2: Internationally qualified members need to fulfill the CPD requirements before they transfer in to become members of HKICS. Same fulfilment of the CPD requirements, where applicable, for those who are being re-elected.
Q3: Is Mandatory CPD a compulsory requirement for membership?
A3: Yes, it is a compulsory requirement for membership.
Q4: What is the difference between mandatory CPD and ECPD points?
A4: Individual members can use his or her own discretion to decide which activities are suitable to fulfil the CPD requirements as long as he or she can provide evidence (e.g. attendance certificate) of participation in such CPD activities issued by a competent source.
Individual members can choose to take part in the Institute's ECPD Programme where ECPD points acquired are regarded as qualifying CPD points. However, ECPD points will only be awarded for participation in activities organised by the Institute or accredited organisations. Members who have accumulated sufficient work experience and ECPD points are eligible to apply for Practitioner’s Endorsement.
Q5: What are the minimum CPD requirements?
A5: Members are required to accumulate at least 15 CPD or ECPD points in each CPD Year from 1st August to 31st July or such other 12 months period as the Council may determine and approve from time to time (“CPD Year”). Members are required to maintain and provide CPD records and supporting documentary, for a minimum of five consecutive CPD Years, upon request from the Institute.
Q6: What will happen if I fail to comply with the minimum CPD requirements?
A6: If you fail to comply with the CPD requirements, you will be required to make up any shortfall within an extended period as stipulated by the Professional Development Committee and submit all relevant documentary evidence to the Secretariat within one month after the expiry of the extended period. Failure to acquire the necessary CPD or ECPD points by the end of the extended period or to submit the relevant documentary evidence to the Secretariat within one month after the expiry of the extended period will invoke a referral to the Investigation Group of the Institute for investigation.
Serious cases, such as falsification of attendance records, will then be referred to the Disciplinary Tribunal. Sanctions by the Disciplinary Tribunal of the Institute may involve the imposition of a fine, censure or other forms of penalty and in severe cases, removal from the Members Register.
Q7: If I fulfil the mandatory CPD requirements, does this mean that I can fulfil the CPD requirements in obtaining Practitioner's Endorsement?
A7: No, unless you have sufficient work experience in the corporate secretarial sector and have accumulated at least 30 ECPD points within two consecutive CPD Years.
Q8: Can I gain CPD points from the seminars or workshops organised by other institutions?
A8: Yes, CPD points can be gained from other course providers. It should be noted that CPD (as opposed to ECPD) courses do not need to be approved by the Institute and it is up to the individual member to judge the suitability of a particular seminar or activity.
However, all members who are working in the corporate secretarial sector as well as the trust and company services providers sector are required to accumulate at least three ECPD points from HKICS activities.
Q9: What are the suggested areas of learning and CPD points cap per CPD Year for topics?
A9: Below are some suggested areas of learning:
· Corporate governance
· Corporate administration
· Corporate secretaryship
· Anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing matters
· Legal studies and practice
· Accounting and finance
· Strategic and operations management
· Human resources management
· Risk management and Internal control
· Other essentials including Trusts, Corporate social responsibility & Environmental and social governance
· Soft skills (including language, presentation, media handling, negotiation, interviewing, communication and problem solving skills, leadership, stress management and other job-related ones)
CPD points cap per CPD Year for various topics
Note: Members are encouraged to take courses on soft skills in each CPD Year but repetitive ones (e.g. same language or communication course) that are taken within the last 36 months should not be recognised for meeting our CPD requirement.
Q10: Do I need to submit relevant documentary to the Institute as an evidence of fulfilling prescribed CPD points upon annual membership renewal?
A10: No. All members are required to file a declaration of CPD compliance which is subject to random checking by the Institute at the time of their annual membership renewal. Members are required to produce relevant CPD records and documentary evidence only when requested for random checking by the Institute.
Q11: Is there any exemption from the mandatory CPD requirements?
A11: Yes, exemption from mandatory CPD requirements is available to Retired Members and Honorary Members. Members in distress or with special grounds may also apply for exemption from the Professional Development Committee, subject to the Committee’s approval.
Q12:Do Retired Members have to apply for exemption from mandatory CPD requirements in each CPD Year?
A12: Retired members are required to declare that they have met the criteria for retired subscription rate annually by returning the Retired Rate Declaration Form to the Institute. They are then entitled to exemption from mandatory CPD requirements in each CPD Year.
Q13: Do I need to fulfil the mandatory CPD requirements if I leave HK / I have serious illness? If yes, what should I do?
Leaving HK temporarily
Yes, you have to fulfil the mandatory CPD requirements if you wish to renew your membership in HK. You may take courses which are deemed to be appropriate from other course providers and you may refer to our suggested areas of learning.
Members have to submit medical certificate issued by Hong Kong medical practitioners to apply for a waiver, which is subject to the approval of the Professional Development Committee at its sole discretion.
Q14: How can I obtain CPD points if I work outside HK for most of the time?
A14: If you work outside HK for most of the time and wish to renew the membership in HK, you may take courses which are deemed to be appropriate from other course providers outside HK. Members should choose courses which are related to their work and you may refer to our suggested areas of learning. Similar to attending non-HKICS courses in Hong Kong, members should keep course attendance records themselves to prepare for random checking.
Q15: How should I judge whether a particular course is suitable for obtaining CPD points?
A15: Unlike ECPD courses, CPD courses do not need to be approved by the Institute. It is entirely up to the individual member to judge the suitability of a particular course. Members should choose courses which are related to their work and may refer to our suggested areas of learning for reference.
Q16: How will the CPD points be awarded to members who contribute to non-ECPD activities?
A16: CPD points will be awarded to speakers for academic seminars for university students and IQS information sessions. The number of CPD points credited will correspond to the number of hours scheduled (rounding up to half an hour).
For example, 1 CPD point will be awarded to speaker for a one-hour speech on Corporate Governance related topics and 0.5 CPD point will be awarded to speaker who share their working experiences for about 20 minutes in the IQS information session.